In Situ vs Remote Weather Data for Automated Control Systems: Pros and Cons


Building Automation Systems (BAS) are becoming increasingly popular in commercial buildings to optimize energy use and envelope performance. Weather data plays a crucial role in BAS, as it allows for automated control systems to make real-time decisions based on weather conditions. However, the question remains: should weather data be gathered in situ or remotely? In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of in situ versus remote weather data for automated control systems with a special focus on environmental sensors and weather measurement tools.


Q: What is in situ weather data? A: In situ weather data is gathered on-site using environmental sensors that measure various weather parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and wind speed. These can be considered as direct tools to measure weather specifically for the site.

Q: What is remote weather data? A: Remote weather data is gathered from external sources, such as weather stations or the cloud, and is transmitted to the building’s BAS. These sources use their own weather measurement tools.

Pros of In Situ Weather Data:

  1. Accuracy: Industrial environmental sensors provide real-time, accurate data that can be used to make immediate adjustments to the building’s HVAC system. This data is specific to the building’s location, taking into account local climate and microclimates.
  2. Control: Building owners and managers have full control over the environmental sensors and can customize their settings to meet the specific needs of their building.
  3. Reliability: Industrial environmental sensors are not affected by network outages or disruptions, ensuring that weather data is always available for BAS.

Cons of In Situ Weather Data:

  1. Cost: Environmental sensors can be expensive to purchase, install, and maintain. Additionally, multiple sensors may be required to cover the entire facility, further increasing the cost.
  2. Maintenance: Environmental sensors require periodic maintenance and calibration to ensure accurate readings.

Pros of Remote Weather Data:

  • Cost: Remote weather data is generally less expensive than in situ sensors since there are no installation or maintenance costs.
  • Access: Remote weather data is widely available and can be easily integrated into BAS through cloud-based platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Flexibility: Remote weather data can be gathered from multiple sources, providing a wider range of weather information than in situ sensors.

Cons of Remote Weather Data:

  1. Accuracy: Remote weather data may not be as accurate as in situ sensors since it is not specific to the building’s location. This can lead to suboptimal HVAC settings, resulting in decreased energy optimization, and delayed response during critical weather events.
  2. Reliability: Remote weather data may be subject to network outages or disruptions, which can result in temporary data loss.

Statistical Evidence:

A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy found that buildings with BAS achieved energy savings of 10-20% compared to buildings without BAS. Industrial environmental sensors can further improve energy efficiency by providing accurate real-time data that can be used to optimize HVAC settings. According to the same study, optimized HVAC settings can reduce energy use by an additional 10-20%.


Industrial environmental sensors and remote weather data both have their advantages and disadvantages. While environmental sensors provide accurate real-time data, they can be expensive to install and maintain. Remote weather data, on the other hand, is less expensive and more flexible, but may not be as accurate. Ultimately, the decision between in situ and remote weather data will depend on the specific needs and budget of the building owner or manager. However, it is clear that integrating weather data into BAS can greatly improve energy efficiency and envelope performance, leading to cost savings and a more sustainable building

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